Quad grouping a diplomatic arrangement, says visiting U.S. Admiral

Efforts on to increase total sum of our collaborations at sea with focus on information sharing, patrol, domain awareness, says U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Samuel J. Paparo

February 28, 2022 10:49 pm | Updated 10:52 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Navy Chief Admiral R. Harikumar with U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Samuel J. Paparo in New Delhi

Navy Chief Admiral R. Harikumar with U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Samuel J. Paparo in New Delhi | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Terming the Quad grouping as a “diplomatic arrangement”, visiting U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Samuel J. Paparo said that strategy always follows policy and the four Navies have embarked upon an effort to increase the “total sum of our collaboration at sea with particular focus on information sharing, maritime patrol, undersea domain awareness” and all the elements a Naval power can bring upon to bear.

He is on a visit to India from February 25 to 28 coinciding with the biennial multilateral exercise Milan 2020 underway in the port city of Visakhapatnam and was a speaker at the international maritime seminar held on Sunday as part of the exercise. On Monday, he held discussions with Navy Chief Admiral R. Harikumar in the national capital.

“It is also bourne of the necessity of the common values the four Quad nations hold, as maritime democracies and the growing threats to the free and open Indo-Pacific,” Adm. Paparo said speaking at the seminar. Stating that within Quad one can see the geography of the interests and how the strategy will follow the policy, and so the increasing numbers of exercises, increasing information sharing and “greater amount of combining networks to enable those”.

“All of this is a path that we are on from a prudent stand point so that the strategy meets the policy of our nations. And we have realised that our fates and interests are intertwined and we see in this a growing collaboration and congregation of our interests,” Adm. Paparo added.

On his interaction with Adm. Harikumar, the Navy said in a statement that among issues discussed were avenues to strengthen the growing cooperation between the two navies, deal with “challenges emerging on the maritime front, and enhance collaboration and interoperability to ensure maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).”

Speaking at the seminar, the Chief of Australian Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan too termed the Quad as an important “diplomatic construct” and has seen significant interactions between the four countries most recently between the four Foreign Ministers in Melbourne. “Amongst the many discussions there was extensive discussion on maritime cooperation, information sharing and doing more together at sea…” he stated.

Vice Adm. Noonan too met Adm. Harikumar on Monday and the Navy said he was provided a broad overview of “regional security dynamics and the operational aspects” in recent times, particularly those related to delivering Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) to Friendly Foreign Countries, conducting counter piracy operations, enhancing maritime safety and security in the region, and strengthening foreign cooperation, with special emphasis on India-Australia cooperation.

Last August, the two sides had signed the ‘Joint Guidance for Australia – India Navy to Navy Relationship’ and subsequently in September concluded the ‘Terms of Reference’ for the conduct of Navy to Navy talks.

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